Columbus, Ohio


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Designed for a young couple with two little boys, the courtyard house is located in a two-story residential district on the west part of downtown Columbus, Ohio. While inspired by courtyard houses that exist in all different culture, such as Si He Yuan in northern regions of China, the project seeks to readapt the vernacular typology with new technology and building material, to better deal with the weather condition in Ohio, which is cold in winter and hot and humid in summer.  

The courtyard is located in the south end of the house, with south side opens to the front lawn and side walk, the other three side enclosed with two story glass curtain windows. The “served space” of the house: the living room, family room, dining and bedrooms are all located in the front looking into the yard and exposed to the precious sunlight in winter time. The “servant space”: the restrooms, kitchen and closets are located on the north side of the house. The main living area is located on the south end, opens to sunlight and view.  Circulation within the house surrounds the courtyard on the two floors. The floor on the interior and courtyard are finished with wood without any drops to blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor, unifying the entire ground floor as a singular, seamless, communal space.

The courtyard is a common space that can be used year round. It is covered by a glass roof with operable sky lights and has operable windows on the south facing facade. In winter time the yard acts as a greenhouse to generate heat for the room surrounding it. In summer it, the windows can open and facilitate natural ventilation. 

The house has a pitched roof in response to the adjacent houses. The exterior wall is cladded with grey zinc panels, creating an appearance that is in contrast but also compliment with neighboring houses.  

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Market: Residential

Area: 2,300 sf

Service: Design